January 29, 2023

In response to Brent Regan’s “Elephant Metamorphosis” commentary of Aug. 5, I would like to proclaim disinterest in political parties. More important to our government is the promulgation of good policy, rather than the political affiliation of those who would promote it. Entities typically start as a movement for change, then develop into a business and, finally, terminate as a racket. This metamorphosis is well known. People who would promote good policy see an unfilled need and have the farsighted altruistic drive to work toward accomplishing their goal for the betterment of the society of which they are a member. Far-right and far-left members of society, by definition, don’t reflect the core beliefs of the majority.

Regan’s description of the events that transpired at North Idaho College don’t reflect what actually happened. Prior to the election of Kootenai County Republican Central Committee members to the NIC board of trustees, the college was operating well. It was receiving donations from people like myself on a yearly basis, and antagonism between the NIC board and the elected president, staff and students was minimal.

Accreditation wasn’t in question. After the election of three new affiliates of KCRCC to the NIC board of trustees, the president of the college was terminated without justifiable cause, bodily threats by the NIC board chair were made against non-KCRCC affiliated board members and accreditation was in jeopardy. The KCRCC-affiliated NIC board members weren’t there to promote good policy. They were there to promote political beliefs. Their understanding of the educational system or its management was a distant second to the goal of restructuring the college to meet their political beliefs.

NIC wasn’t broken before the new board members arrived. After the firing of the NIC president, loss of faculty, loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars resulting from unjustified firing, and loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars in benefactor donations, NIC was broken. The majority of Kootenai County inhabitants who lived with the long history of NIC’s success in educating themselves, their sons and their daughters don’t want or appreciate the changes the three KCRCC-affiliated board members tried to force on our community.

I just returned from Mongolia. The flight options to get there included stops in Russia, China or South Korea. After a millisecond of thought, South Korea was my choice. Both Asiana, a South Korean airline, and MIAT, a Mongolian airline, required masks for all passengers. South Korea requires either a negative RA test or a PCR 48 hours before flying to prove health.

Both countries have had very low incidence of COVID, and they wanted their passengers to be as safe as possible. I wanted to fly so I wore a mask.

While in Ulaanbaatar, I visited a Buddhist monastery. In a darkened temple, standing in front of a 50-foot-tall statue of Buddha, candles and chanting monks, I had no thought of raising my tiny fists and squeaking that they and their culture were all going to hell because they didn’t believe in the one true god. Buddhism had worked for them for a long, long time and their society isn’t broken.

Mr. Regan’s closing statement in a number of articles has been, “It’s just common sense.” If we look at a small cohort of people within a much larger society, the sense or wisdom implied may not be common — nor is it necessarily sense.

Doug Albertson is a 40-year Coeur d’Alene resident.

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